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Autumn Foliage

The darkness did not overcome it.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5

As this is being written, 2020 has only days left of it and then we “turn the page” and move into a new year. I’m a person who excites at a new horizon, a new opportunity or possibility, a new adventure. However, before we look to what is and what could be, it’s important in this moment, with the past year fresh in our minds and touching our hearts, to reflect on the year that has been.

Let’s just say it: 2020 was a very hard year. From the outbreak of the pandemic to breathless words of George Floyd, to the reckoning/unreckoning of our country’s past and current racism, to and economy that is crushing the middle and lower income peoples, to spikes in deaths from Covid we never dreamed could be so many, to such political selfishness on both sides that stalled our leaders to inaction when so many needed help. We feel battered and bruised.

At times it was hard to find hope. But the Christmas story reminds us of where our hope is and the assurance and faithfulness of the One we can hope in! Right the Story, the light of the Christ Child; the Savior who is born to YOU...this day! Inbreaking into the crisis and chaos of this past year and in our current unease and brokenness – into our darkness breaks the light of Grace! We can hope because God is not overcome. We can stand on the assurance of God’s light breaking forth in the darkness of this world and overcoming the dark places of our lives and healing the broken and wounded parts of our hearts! John says it plainly: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [does not] overcome it!

So, as we move into God’s New Day, we can know in the assurance of an All-Surpassing God that healing is possible, hope is assured, new life is promised, and new possibilities and opportunities await us! Oh, there will still be heart- breaks and losses in our lives but God and God’s love can not be taken from us nor can anything separate us from it! It is what brings us through. It is what lets us dream, it is what assures us of the New Day God promises! We will not forget the lessons of this past year or the events that taught them to us - nor should we. But we will receive and stand in this light that breaks the darkness and shows us the way of Peace and Justice!

I invite you to say out loud your answers: What do you hope for in this new year? What are you anticipating? How will you live anew knowing the truth and assurance of God’s great goodness? Where will you live out this Joy and to whom will you reach out to with goodness? What are you daring to dream?

All this is possible because God so loves the world (including and especially You) that unto You (specifically) and Y’all (each and all) is born this day - not some other day – is born a Savior! May we – you and I – and together as a congregation of brothers and sisters united in the love of Jesus, go forward into God’s great New Day seeking to be disciples and living in the Way of the Christ that will touch hearts, change lives and build our fellowship of faith in spirit and number!

Be God’s, Pastor Jim

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